Sunday, February 19, 2012

More on FEBRUARY: Remember Love (The Happiness Project)

I've started and finished the March chapter, but there's still something in February that I'd like to talk about: the overall theory of happiness and its formula. The author Gretchen Rubin had the moment of realization hit her while she was on the subway, but I had it easy by reading her book. What struck me in this chapter is as follows,

To be happy, I need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right.

BUT that's not the end of the story. The above isn't quite complete and lacking some important element. So what is the missing element?

Add 'GROWTH'. The process of striving after goals brings about happiness; for example, training for a marathon, learning a new language, and so on, and becoming better at it makes us feel good. Growth offsets the feeling of growing accustomed to the things that used to make us feel good. It's about taking things to the next level.

Therefore, the final formula is now: To be happy, I need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.

I'm feeling about 80% "happy" and "right" at the moment, and will work on the 20% for growth and eliminating bad feelings. Bad feelings such as anger and boredom are important because they make me think how I could improve my situation; they act as trigger points. What I would really like to get rid of for good are the feelings of guilt, remorse and shame. I am also trying to 'right' the wrongs in my life right now, so that will be a constant work-in-progress. Eventually, I will achieve my goals. One step at a time...